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Tonio Buonassisi

Contact Info

room 35-213

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139


  • 2001


    B.S., Applied Physics
  • 2006


    Ph.D., Applied Science & Technology

Research Interests

  • solar energy, photovoltaics, defect characterization, system design and modeling


Tonio Buonassisi is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. He heads the MIT PVLab, a research laboratory with an interdisciplinary focus on photovoltaics and system design. His research interests include solar energy conversion, predictive process simulation, defects, multiscale characterization (synchrotron), photoelectrochemistry, system design and modeling, including technoeconomic analysis. Working in collaboration with over two dozen solar-energy companies, he contributed to the development of various solar-cell technologies in commercial production today, including the initial technology for Calisolar (now Silicor Materials). He co-founded the Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems in Boston. The PVLab has a strong focus on education and community-building, and is involved in international research collaborations in Singapore, Mexico, Spain, and Brazil, among others.

Honors + Awards

  • 2015 Google Faculty Award
  • 2015 Everett Moore Baker Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (MIT teaching award selected entirely by undergraduates).
  • 2012 CAREER Award, National Science Foundation
  • 2012 BOSCH Energy Research Network Award
  • 2010 MIT-Deshpande Innovation Grant
  • 2005 European Materials Research Society (E-MRS) Young Scientist Presentation Award
  • 2004 German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Graduate Research Fellowship